Bobby Burns: Defender returns for Northern Ireland U21s

Ethan Galbraith
Manchester United's Ethan Galbraith has been named in Ian Baraclough's squad

Bobby Burns returns to Ian Baraclough's Northern Ireland Under-21 squad for the first time since his loan move from Hearts to A-League side Newcastle Jets.

Northern Ireland face Hungary in a friendly on Thursday before taking on Romania in Euro 2021 qualifying the following Tuesday.

Baraclough's side sit fifth in Group Eight with two draws and two defeats in four games.

Crusaders' Harry Robinson and Wolves' Jack Scott are other notable call-ups.

With Conor Hazard suspended for the Romania qualifier after his red card in Voluntari last month, Derry City's Nathan Gartside joins Celtic stopper Liam Hughes as the two goalkeepers in the 20-man squad.

Gartside, Wolves defender Scott and Crues' forward Robinson, who is on loan at Seaview from League Two side Oldham Athletic, have all been called into the U21 squad for the first time.

Glentoran midfielder Chris Gallagher is back in the U21 fold after missing last month's qualifiers away to Denmark and Romania, joining team-mate Paul O'Neill in the squad.

Manchester United's Ethan Galbraith and Leeds United midfielder Alfie McCalmont are both included for the double-header.

The friendly against Hungary at Ballinamallard United's Ferney Park ground next week will be an historic occasion as it will be the first time County Fermanagh has hosted a 'senior level' international match.

Hungary, who are coached by former West Brom and Fulham star Zoltan Gera, are hosting the U21 European Championship finals along with Slovenia in 2021 and the game against Northern Ireland is one of numerous warm-up matches for the Hungarians prior to the tournament.

The U21s have had a tough opening to their qualification campaign. In their four Euro qualifiers to date they have managed two draws and suffered defeats away to Denmark and Romania.

Northern Ireland Under-21 squad
Goalkeepers: Hughes, Gartside
Defenders: Marron, Balmer, Toal, Scott, Thompson, Burns, Graham
Midfielders: Palmer, Boyd_munce, McCalmont, Gallagher, Dunwoody, Galbraith, McCann, Gordon
Forwards: Parkhouse, O'Neill, Robinson

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